If you lived in Tallahassee in November 2-9 of 1986 you may recall that Billy Graham conducted an evangelistic crusade at the Leon County Civic Center and Doak Campbell Stadium that week. He set a record of over 17,000 people in the civic center arena and overflow rooms. On Friday night, November 7, everyone present at the crusade stood and sang happy 68th birthday to Mr. Graham. I remember him saying to the crowd that someone had asked him what it was about life that he had found most surprising. He answered, “How brief it is.”
He was right. Life is surprisingly short. However, today, November 7, 2016, Billy Graham turned 98 years old. I am sure the 30 years since 1986 have flown by for him at a much faster rate than the first 68. In any case, Billy Graham stands as one of the greatest Americans of the 20th Century.
How many of us, directly or indirectly, have him to thank for our salvation? As a 16 year old high school student in Tallahassee, after being dragged to a Billy Graham movie (yes, he used to produce movies), I made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. So, as we did 30 years ago, we sing again happy birthday to Billy Graham, a man whose “brief” life has had eternal significance for countless millions of Christians.